Tasting versus drinking, again

I have a worry. It’s that wine critics are doing too much tasting and not enough drinking.

The competition amongst the critics is becoming intense. As the Robert Parker era closes, there’s a bit of a power struggle. The point-scorers are vying for power. Who will have influence?

The wine world is now too big for one [...]

Wine on television

Wine industry commentator Robert Joseph has recently written about wine on television. The reason we don’t have much wine on TV, he asserts, is because wine isn’t interesting as a subjectfor TV. It’s not visual enough. He lays down a challenge to anyone who disagrees: make a pilot program and see how many views you get [...]

Sparkling Wine Symposium 2013, a stunning line-up of speakers

OK, this is a plug. For an event of which I’m one of the organizing team. But I just wanted to bring everyone’s attention to the International Sparkling Wine Symposium 2013, which is being held at Denbies in a couple of weeks’ time.

There’s a stunning line-up of speakers, so if you have any [...]

Some lovely wines at The Sampler

The Sampler is such a great wine merchant. I spent some time at the South Kensington store this evening tasting wines from their enomatic machines. You don’t need to spend much money to have a lot of fun here, and they have a lot of interesting things on tasting, including some older vintages. Here are [...]

More thoughts on selection, and does ageability require compromise?

I posted a couple of days ago about hyperselection, and whether or not this was a good thing in red winemaking.

At lunch yesterday I had a discussion with Elizabeth Vianna, winemaker at Chimney Rock in California’s Napa Valley. This vintage, for the first time, they hired the latest-generation optical sorter for a trial. This proved very [...]

Hyperselection: is it a good thing?

The idea of selecting grapes for quality isn’t a new one. It can be done in the vineyard (choosing which grapes to pick, or going through before harvest and getting rid of the bad ones), or in the winery, or both. It’s just that now there seems to be a lot of what I term [...]

In Serbia judging wine

I’m in Serbia. It is my first time here, and I’ve come to act as a judge in the Serbian wine awards competition Great Serbian Wine Tasting 2013, which is organized by online magazine www.vino.rs and Vino & Fino magazine.

It is being held in Belgrade, but so far I haven’t seen much of this famous [...]

Sainsbury's ends fake 'half price' wine offers, for now

For more than three years I have been complaining about the fake half price wine offers in supermarkets. See here, here and here. What’s wrong with a deal? Nothing, it’s just that these deals are illusory. The wines – known in the trade as tactical brands or trade drivers – are designed with discounting in [...]

Are we making too much of grape varieties?

Has the case for grape varieties been overstated? Do we make too much of them?

Andrew Jefford thinks so.

Writing in his latest blog for Decanter he argues that:

Too much ‘varietal thinking’… may inhibit and shackle wine appreciation.  If we were to regard place and the cultural traditions of place as the primary translators of wine flavour, [...]

A wine manifesto

So, here is my wine manifesto. The idea for putting together this document came to me while I was sitting in Bar t’at in Ilkley on Wednesday, and I finished it on the train home yesterday.

It’s an act of arrogance and folly, perhaps, to generate a manifesto like this. But I wanted to capture in [...]